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  1. TTC has slowly been moving away from a 18-year planned lifespan to something that is closer to what is used in the US - and to what is reasonably expected from things like hybrid and battery-powered buses. All that said.....their current plan is to replace buses not specifically due to age, but rather due to condition of the components and their reliability. The Orion VII Next Gens are currently on the hit list, and following them will likely be the last of the "Old Gen" Orion VIIs in both diesel and hybrid flavours. Dan
  2. My understanding is that the hand-over date is December 5th, which is the date which Mississauga Transit would be given access to the facility to make whatever changes or installations they needed, and to start their training. This is not an operational start date. Considering that the hand-over date for the new Union Station Terminal was in early June, and that they started testing with buses shortly after that but service is only starting in 2 weeks from now, I would expect that we won't start seeing service into the facility until March or so. Dan
  3. 1. I started photographing in 1997, and I can't seem to find photos that I took of any sets of corridor equipment that where some cars are and some cars aren't. It seems that, at least for the corridor fleet, that the cars and locos were done quite quickly. (But it may also be that I wasn't prolific enough to catch more of the change-over.) 2. The idea was that the Tempo cars were going to be converted to the same standard as was going to be used on the LRC cars and locos as they were being delivered and thus they wouldn't need the RS-18m anymore. And while this did eventually happen, for some reason they never got around to converting the cars until 1983 or 1984 or so - and so they needed the locos until then. Dan
  4. At this point, anything is possible. But until more info is known on the line, it seems to be to be a waste of breath to speculate on it. If you want to do so, go right ahead. Dan
  5. The height of the equipment was never the concern with the Superliners. The cost of the order was. Regulations have changed and been upgraded in the intervening years, sure - but there was and is no regulatory requirement that specifically requires CEM in either Canada or the US. It may be churlish to forego it in this day and age, however. Precisely. An order to replace the entirety of the long-distance fleet on VIA would be close to the size of the current order to Siemens for the corridor stock - about 160 cars. That is not insignificant, and is larger than any single long-distance railcar order since the early 1980s. Dan
  6. If you are referring to those original dozen or so deliveries made directly to the MSF, it seems like it will be all of them. If you are talking in more general terms, every single Crosstown car will keep to go to Thunder Bay for installation and testing of the ATC/ATO equipment. The cars are complete and capable of operation upon leaving Millhaven, but lack the ATC/ATO equipment that they will need to operate in the Crosstown's tunnels and activate the switches along the line. If you can get the reporting marks of the flatcar (4 alphabetic characters, probably something along the lines of "FTTX" and 6 numerals following), people with access to the tracking system would be able to tell you where the car was loaded and where it is destined to. I don't think 6208 has left the MSF since it was first delivered there, so thus the assumption to be made is that it is destined for Thunder Bay. Dan
  7. Well.... Don't kid yourself about the "exceptional quality", either. There is lots of Budd equipment that has fared quite poorly from a similar generation to the ex-Canadian Pacific fleet. Hell, even the HEP 2 cars are structurally in far worse shape, and they are "only" 5 to 10 years older - but in many cases, have seen fewer years in actual service than the ex-CP cars. And honestly, the service that the ex-CP cars have served in since the 1960s and 1970s is far less intensive than they when they operated as new. There are a lot of moving parts to it. A lot of it can probably be chalked up to maintenance practices - CP took very good care of their equipment early on, and VIA has done very well with its limited resources since its inception, whereas a lot of the US roads did little more than a clean and wash, and sent the cars back out. And the HEP2 rebuilds were extremely thorough, pulling the cars apart to bare steel before putting them back together again. But despite all that, at the end of the day, they won't be here forever. Eventually it will simply become too expensive to operate them - their mechanical equipment will become too old and outdated, their ancient structures will require too much work to keep up to good shape, their interior configurations not conducive to the requirements of the modern traveler, etc. VIA can keep throwing money at them, or they can try and get something modern and reliable. We may not be there yet, but that day is coming. Dan
  8. With the exception of my remark to Shaun... I'm not trying to be sarcastic in my response - but rather to try and save words. A lot of the history has been well repeated many times, so there's no point in rehashing it. Try and go back and read it without pretense, and you may see that it isn't the mean-spirited reply that you want to believe it is. Dan
  9. Since Shaun, as usual, doesn't know what he's talking about.... Renaissance cars - I'm sure you know about their history, so I won't bother repeating it here. But the long and the short of it is that the equipment was built to a different standard than is used to here, and so has always been felt to be the "odd duck". Truth be told, the structural issues facing the Ren fleet is the same as that which the Blue-and-Yellow fleet faced for much of its service (and for which many of the HEP2 cars are also susceptible), but the difference is that because they use "non-standard" parts and are built in a "non-standard" way that they have always been a much more difficult thing to fix. That's why VIA has put money into maintaining the HEP2 cars, and not the Ren. P42s - The locos were designed to be sturdy and reliable - and have been for most of their lives on VIA - but age has caught up to them. In terms of parts, the same applies to the P42s as did the Ren fleet. They use trucks and gearboxes purpose-built for their design, rather than warmed-over freight loco designs such as those on the F40s. Because of that, parts will become much harder to find once Amtrak retires all of theirs (and parts are already more expensive to source than those for the F40s). And while they were designed by Amtrak for long-distance service, that's not the service that VIA uses them in - and so they won't be needed once the Siemens fleet arrives. LRCs - Have you totally forgotten that they are almost 40 years old? Considering that they are built entirely of aluminum, that they have lasted this long is quite impressive. (Most other "aluminum" railcars are built with a steel structure upon which the aluminum body is fastened - the BiLevels use this design.) When the cars were designed and built, the longevity of aluminum structures in the railroad world was still a bit of an unknown. And the 25 or so cars that were thoroughly rebuilt by IRSI will be capable of lasting another 10 or 15, as the work done to them rivaled building entirely new structures. There are lots of situations of rail equipment built "in the olden times" having very short lifespans, so to claim that this is somehow a modern thing is, frankly, crap. There are BiLevel cars over 40 years old. The oldest Amfleets are 47. AEM-7s lasted almost 40 years. Need I go on? As for future motive power, that's dependent on them getting the funding to replace the 25 or 30 F40s that will be remaining once the Siemens sets are in service, no? As for the options, well, look at the North American market and see what's available - and there are your options. Dan
  10. In the Toronto context, a subway - historically - was a passageway located underneath another, crossing, passageway. Queen St. W. underneath the railway tracks near Dufferin is referred to as a subway. The Glen Rd. pedestrian tunnel under Bloor St. E. is a subway. So to state categorically that the term is particular to the technology? I completely disagree. Especially since prior to the opening of the line the technology used on the Eglinton line will not have been used in Toronto at all, so there is no historic precedence. For the record, the Eglinton line will be a "subway" - and at the same time it won't be, either. When it is underground it is as much of a subway as either of the three existing heavy-rail systems used in Toronto, featuring floor-level loading, full grade separation, a full signaling system, emergency exits and other ancillary devices for keeping the public safe. Trains will stop at each station regardless of whether people are waiting for that station or not. It is as much of a subway as the SRT, if not more of one. On the surface however, it will behave more like an LRT the likes of which we have on St. Clair, Spadina and the Harbourfront. Partial traffic separation, the use of traffic signals rather than its own discrete signal system, and stop-on-demand are all things that we've seen on the other lines already operating in Toronto. Yes, the vehicles will be different - but their operation here will not be. Dan
  11. Metrolinx's proponent to build the Davenport Grade Separation has been given access to about half of the site for their use during the construction of the project. Dan
  12. It wasn't there on Tuesday afternoon when I went looking for it. Dan
  13. There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes time to assigning a route to a particular garage. How the route is built - where do the majority of the runs start and end - has a lot to do with it. And while this can be adjusted to a degree with careful schedule design, at the same time it makes no sense to put buses into service earlier than they need to be simply to reduce deadheading just as it doesn't make sense to have routes deadheading longer than they might otherwise need to. But one thing that a lot of people overlook is whether the garage simply has the capacity to handle the route. The 118 and 119 are not big routes (requiring 2 and 3 buses at rush hour, respectively, as per the June service summary), but allocating them to Wilson may have required the reallocation of another route or two that would on the whole require more deadheading. It's a careful balancing act. Dan
  14. The Flexity cars are built in order, but as Articulated correctly pointed out Edmonton's are being delivered out of order as they didn't have a location to deliver them to until more recently. As of early this year, Bombardier had about 15 of their cars sitting at Millhaven waiting to be shipped. As for the Metrolinx cars, they've got over 30 of the cars on the property. 45 have been completed - I think that it was 6245 that was spotted being shipped to Thunder Bay for equipment installation 2 weeks ago, and 2 more cars are on their way up there now. Dan
  15. Several airlines, including Westjet, have instituted similar rules over the past little while. I can't help but wonder if this rule was as a result of one particular pest on Facebook..... Dan
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